Environmental Ethics
PHIL 323 / INDS 323
The University of Arizona


This web page being developed by Stephanie Bonadio.

What do the terms vegetarian, vegan, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, and ovo-vegetarian mean?

  • Becoming a vegan is a process. A vegan is someone who does not consume any form of animal flesh (meat, poultry, fish and seafood), animal products (eggs and dairy), and usually (in its purist form) excludes honey and the wearing and use of animal products (leather, silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin...). The major vegan societies all disallow honey, but some vegans still use it. Some vegans also refuse to eat yeast products.
  • Pronunciation of the word vegan pronounced as VEE-gun
  • Veganism is an essential element to living a cruelty free life style. One of the major benefits of veganism is an improved quality of life for both humans and animals.
  • The word vegan was a product of the year 1944 by a British man, Donald Watson. Watson with other vegetarians conceived the word vegan as a combination of the first part of vegetarian ve and combining it with the last section an. This effort was made to form and give title to a legion of men who wanted to form an alliance of nondairy vegetarians.
Vegetarianism includes vegan, but as a result of human variation the term vegetarian has developed into subcategories that allow humans a range of vegetarian lifestyles. Vegetarians may or may not wear fur/leather/wool, depending on their own choices. A difference between vegan and vegetarian is the increased room for flexibility and variation in being vegetarian compared to being vegan.

Ovo-lacto Vegetarian:
same as vegan, but the ovo and lacto aspects allows for the consumption of eggs and milk products. This form of vegetarianism is the most common form of vegetarianism, which implies human's inability to omit the use of animal's bodies and their natural products.

Ovo Vegetarian:
This is the same as being vegan except for the consumption of eggs.

Lacto Vegetarian:
This is the same as vegan except for the consumption of milk products.

Semi-Vegetarian/ Pseudo-Vegetarian:
Eats less meat than average person. Or, one who claims to be vegetarian, but by definition is not.

Consumption of fish, otherwise a vegetarian.

Only eats foods that don't kill the plant. An example of this distinction is the comparison of tree fruits which can be picked without killing the plant/ tree, root foods like potatoes and carrots cannot be harvested with out killing the plant itself.

Does not eat meat. This category of consumption does not consider fish, fowl or seafood to be meat in their definition as non-meat-eaters.

This term is derived from the Jewish religion. The Jewish people have historically lived by their doctrine, in which their dietary laws are an integral part of their lifestyles. It is important to note that kosher does not pay membership to vegetarian or vegan. Kosher products sometimes include milk, which by definition is a product of animals, and some meats are kosher.

Consumptions of foods that do not have enough percentage of milk-fat to be called dairy. May actually contain milk or milk derivatives.

Made without meat. May include eggs, milk, and cheese. Sometimes even includes animal fats, seafood, fish, fowl.

"SAD" (standard American diet):
Simply put this is a common American diet that is meat based. This "SAD" way of eating is focused on the dead animal and few vegetables.

NOTE: information and terms are largely derived from Gedge Edwards Vegetarian Pages at http://www.veg.org/veg/FAQ/glossary.html

Phil 323 Hot Stuff | Web Project | Vegetarianism

The University of Arizona
Last update Apr 8, 1999
All contents copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.